Thailand passes the draft decree on crypto regulation

Thai cabinet approves the draft decree with minimal changes from the initial variant proposed by Ministry of Finances, regulating ICOs and crypto taxation
30 March 2018   772

Government regulation has been a hot topic among the crypto community as of late. And Thai officials have been among the first few countries to announce plans to formalize the regulation and taxation on the crypto assets. And now they have passed the draft decree to regulate the cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

The Thai cabinet has finally approved the draft of a royal decree to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Nothing is hugely different from the draft proposed by the Ministry of Finance earlier this month. The sole significant change from the precious version has been in the definition of the digital asset, which now reads “cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, removing other assets such as electronic data, as specified in the previous draft”, according to the Bangkok Post. The only thing left to do is to publish the decree in the Royal Gazette, after which the decree will become law and come into full effect.

Also, taxation rules have been finalized for the crypto assets. According to the Bangkok Post:

"Investors who make digital-asset related trades will be liable for a 7% value-added tax (VAT) payment, on top of the 15% withholding tax on capital gains and returns from such investments, when the new law is enforced…Retail investors will be exempt from paying VAT if they trade digital assets through exchanges."

And the ICOs now have to register in advance with the Thai SEC. All existing companies involved in the crypto market have to get licenses and report information to anti-money laundering office. The current ICOs have 90 days to report to SEC, while all the new offerings have to be registered before the actual start of the offerings.

Kraken to Add Bech32 Support for BTC and QTUM

Bech32 format corresponds to addresses that support sending transactions using SegWit scaling technology
08 November 2018   181

The popular American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced the long-awaited integration of Bech32 addresses for Bitcoin and QTUM.

To date, Bech32 addresses have been integrated only for withdrawal operations. Bech32 addresses start with “bc1” and “qc1” for bitcoin and QTUM, respectively. Support for Bech32 addresses for depositing operations will be implemented soon, the company promises.

The Bech32 format corresponds to addresses that support sending transactions using SegWit scaling technology, activated in the Bitcoin blockchain about a year ago. According to the transactionfee.info portal, by now the share of SegWit transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain has again dropped to 42%, after being briefly close to 50%.

Earlier, the Kraken exchange stated that it supported the launch of SegWit in the bitcoin blockchain and uses the Bech32 format to make transfers in its internal systems, but refused to provide customers with access to such addresses until the technology is integrated into large wallets such as Bitcoin Core. Release of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 with support for SegWit was held in February of this year.

Get more info on Bech32 at GitHub.